This Post Likes You

Or, How to Start Seeing Social Media as Marketing

Social media marketing can be very scary. It appears as though they’re giving us something we want, some lovely photo, sultry gossip, or insider information. It’s advertising.

The key to modern social media advertising is “shareability”. That word is so new my spell-checker doesn’t even recognize it. It means, how shareable is something. Or, what is the likelihood that people are going to tell their friends about this. Because, even today, even in our highly digital world, the best kind of advertising is word-of-mouth.

The modern ad agencies know this. They have detailed records of what you like. In fact, as of right now, that’s how Facebook and Google make all their money. They know what you want. Google lets you target 18-24yr old/male/geek/New England/Evening. And yes, they use the word, target, like in archery… or snipers.

The entire news industry has been usurped by this type of thinking. If you don’t believe me, read Trust Me, I’m Lying, by Ryan Holiday. You’ll never be able to watch the news in sponge-mode again.

This post was was inspired by a recent social media campaign most likely paid for by Disneyland. It’s summer. Disneyland charges $96/person/park/day. They get 30k/day visitors on average. That’s $2.88 million per day or just over $1 billion a year. They need advertising. This is how they do it:

It tastes like French Toast.

It tastes like French Toast.

Last week, on Facebook, there was a post showing all the great secret places to get the best food in Disneyland. That post did very well on Facebook. My wife shared it, though, she used the “share” option to bookmark it for her own later reference.

When we went to Disneyland last Saturday, we tried one of the food options, The beignet. It was around carnival-level good. Not great. And way overpriced. I even asked the park employees what they thought of it and they said there’s a better one outside the park, in Downtown Disney, where the entrance fee is $0. But, that doesn’t make Disneyland nearly as much money. 

This was more an idea than what actually got made.

This was more an idea than what actually got made.

Then, this morning I saw the original map of Disneyland, which was apparently bought by Glen Beck. Yes, that Glen Beck. I don’t know what he paid for it. Probably more than what they charge for maps at AAA. But, before Glen Beck bought it, someone scanned it and now it’s all over the blogs, including this one.

That map is insider information. It’s cool to see how their ideals and plans have changed over the years. And, it gets the name Disney in front of you one more time. That’s called branding. The more you think Disney, the more you’ll want to go to Disneyland, or rent a Disney movie, or support Mickey Mouse as he slowly erodes the notion of public domain.

In case you think I’ve got something against Disney I don’t. We had a great time, every time we’ve gone. It’s a fun place and they put on some great shows. They food isn’t going to get a Michelin star, but it’s edible. 

Expect more interesting stuff about Disneyland as summer approaches.

I just wanted to pull back the curtain so you know you’re helping them advertise. Because, according to the hackers in ALGORITHM, “information should be free.” See what I did, just there? ;)